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  • Writer's pictureCarlos Guevara

E-commerce and In-App Advertising: Not just a trend but a critical strategy

Canadian omni-channel advertisers are increasingly turning their focus towards a potent combination: e-commerce and in-app advertising. This strategy, while still developing, has shown significant promise in driving increased sales for e-commerce businesses.

Today's e-Commerce sector has witnessed exponential growth globally, this growth is particularly vibrant in Canada. According to Statistics Canada, October 2023 saw retail e-commerce sales reach $3.9 billion. This figure accounted for 5.9% of the total retail trade in the country, showing a notable increase from the previous month and previous year. This continued surge, jump-started by the COVID-19 pandemic, has created a fertile ground for advertisers to tap into a growing digital consumer base.

For e-commerce, the rise of mobile usage has ushered in an era where in-app advertising is not just a viable option but a necessary one for businesses aiming to capture the attention of their target audience effectively. A report by eMarketer suggests that the average Canadian adult spends over three hours per day on their mobile devices, with a significant portion of this time spent within apps.

Most businesses already know that leveraging in-app advertising offers several advantages for e-commerce. Firstly, it allows for highly targeted advertising. Mobile apps gather a wealth of user data, including location, browsing habits, and purchase history, enabling advertisers to tailor their messages to specific audiences. 

This precision in targeting is often more difficult to achieve through traditional digital advertising channels. Today, these advances go beyond just the historical user data. Ad networks on the cusp of technology  are now able to leverage more actionable data like intent data based on what consumers are saying, location data to infer where consumers will go next, and transactional data to see what people are buying. Note, that with recent privacy changes on how advertisers can use consumer and mobile data, the next gen actionable insights mentioned can only be attained through 1st-party permission based data collected from things like scanned receipts, loyalty card data, opt-in permission based location data, surveys and shopping lists.

With all this data, advertisers can then go to the next step of creating in-app ads that are designed to be incredibly engaging. With the advent of rich media and interactive ad formats, such as video, dynamic creative optimization, and  augmented reality, advertisers can create immersive experiences that not only capture attention but also encourage direct interaction, leading to higher engagement rates compared to standard banner ads.

A real-world example of this effective strategy can be seen in our collaboration with leading Canadian e-commerce companies who are leveraging our branded moments, and other products like our mobile flyer units to create seamless shopping experiences within the apps themselves. A process that significantly enhances user experience and potentially boosts sales.

Samples of a demand generator campaign run by APEX mobile media

Moreover, in-app advertising is measurable, offering insights into user engagement and ad effectiveness. This data-driven approach allows e-commerce businesses to refine their advertising strategies continually, and see how it affects other omni-channel touch points that the in-app and mobile ad is a part of, ensuring maximum ROI.

Despite all the exciting data, and creative advances in mobile and omni-channel advertising strategies it’s important to note that the success of any in-app ad for e-commerce is contingent on several factors. The quality of the app, the relevance of the ad content, and the overall user experience are critical components. Regardless of the ad channel, advertisers must ensure that their in-app ads are not intrusive but add value to the user's experience and provide value when it matters to the consumer at the right place and in the right moment. 

Canadian e-commerce continues to flourish, the future of in-app advertising and smart mobil technology presents a golden opportunity for omni-channel advertisers. By harnessing the power of targeted, engaging, and measurable in-app ads that tie into an omni-channel strategy,  e-commerce businesses can effectively reach and convert their mobile-first audience across the customer journey, leading to increased sales and sustained growth in the digital marketplace. The fusion of e-commerce and in-app advertising is not just a trend but a critical strategy for success in today's digital economy.

Learn more on how we do omni-channel in-app advertising right using the best in class audience data, inventory, creative, and location technology. 


Carlos Guevara is the Marketing Director at APEX Mobile Media and previous host of the podcast "In Search of Good Data." He has also helped various organizations in the private and non-profit sector to become more customer-centric with the use of enriched data and modern marketing and advertising technology and strategies.



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